Candidates for sports seats cry foul in Jinnah College trials

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Around 100 girls, who could not get admission at the top girls college of the province, fought hard for only six reserved seats available for players. Those, who lost the competition, cried foul and demanded an inquiry into the selection process.

However, the officials, who were part of the selection committee, said that trials for the seats reserved for sports-women at the prestigious Jinnah College for Women (JCW) were held under immense pressure. Despite immense pressure from politicians and bureaucrats, those who scored highest points in different sports were selected on the reserved sports seat, they claimed.

Also read: Political interference continues in KP education dept

On the other hand, some parents and students approached this scribe with complaints of nepotism and unfairness in the recently held sports trials at JCW, an affiliated college of University of Peshawar (UoP).

They have appealed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Mahtab Ahmad Khan and UoP Vice-chancellor to ensure fair selection on reserved seats in JCW meant for girls excelling in sports.

Demand inquiry into selection process; officials deny favouritism

The trials were held under various categories including athletics, badminton, volleyball, basketball and table tennis. About 100 candidates took part in the competition.

A parent alleged that sports seats at JCW were already filled and only proxy sports trials were held to dupe the candidates, who had come from far flung areas of the province.

Shahida Younas, mother of a student, said that the candidates were hoodwinked by the selection committee as it was supporting some of the candidates openly and were giving them high marks.

She alleged that many parents had complained about the biased and insulting attitude of the jury members, some of whom were from the academia and had no connection with sports at all.

However, a member of the selection committee said that they did not give in to any kind of pressure from anyone. “To ensure transparency, an expert in sports from outside UoP was invited to be part of the selection process,” the official said, adding that the sports officials of UoP and JCW were not made part of the selection committee to ensure impartiality.

The convener of the selection committee, which held trials, was Prof Adnan Sarwar and UoP director admission Dr Hizbullah, principal of the JCW and Physical Instructor Ms Samreen were members of the committee. An expert and former sports director of the provincial government, Din Mohammad, also was member of the committee.

Another official at UoP Sports Directorate, which only helped in providing facilities to the competitors, said that he was present on the occasion. He said that the candidates, who did not get admission in JCW on merit, tried their best to get admission on sports seat though some of them were not even good players.

“I am myself a sportsman and I am sure those, who were good at sports and scored high, got selected on the reserved seats for players,” he said.

However, Ms Younas complained that irrelevant people from the academic sector were made part of the committee and the judges were extending unfair support to certain candidates, who were not even aware of the basic rules of the game.

Such candidates were recommended by ministers or were related to the jury members, Ms Younas alleged.

Rukhsana Jamal, a candidate, said that the judges were using harsh language with candidates and their parents when they challenged the credibility of the whole trial.

She said that her parents were made to suffer during Ramazan when admissions were given on open merit and some of the reserved seats. After suffering in the sizzling heat for three days, they were told to vacate the college, she added.

“I would appeal to the chancellor and vice-chancellor of University of Peshawar to review the admission modalities with specific focus on the reserved seats and ensure free and fair process and to hold an inquiry into the recently held trails so as to hold the corrupt accountable,” Ms Jamal said.

However, the member of selection committee claimed that it was one of the ‘fairest’ committees as they did not give in to any pressure from influential parents.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2014